Former UFC superstar Anderson Silva is headed into a boxing match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 19, and the 46-year-old MMA legend revealed to Heavy he doesn’t care what UFC president Dana White thinks about the fight. Silva was asked to respond to White’s comments to the media last year that he hoped Silva never fought again after the UFC released him from his contract, and “The Spider” didn’t disappoint with his answer.
“These people need to respect everything I do for the sport,” Silva said. “UFC is UFC right now because I changed UFC. In my time, I put UFC into a different level…good luck for Dana, good luck for UFC, and leave me alone!”
Chavez Jr. vs. Silva will be shown live on June 19 via cable, satellite, and digital pay-per-view, starting at 9 p.m. ET. The price of the PPV is set at $39.99. Integrated Sports Media and Joe Hand Promotions will distribute the card throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, DISH, SaskTel, Rogers, Shaw PPV and via the FITE.TV website and app in the United States, Canada, and select markets worldwide.
ALL the latest UFC news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on UFC newsletter here!
‘It’s Crazy When I See Dana White Talk About Me’
Silva is one of the most celebrated and decorated fighters in UFC history. During his epic run with the company, he became the UFC’s biggest superstar and most dominant champion. Still, that didn’t keep White from expressing his opinion about Silva’s future after his final UFC fight in November 2020.
“I made a big mistake,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight but out of respect to him, he’s a legend of this sport and a legend of this company, I did something that I disagreed with. I knew I was right and tonight proved I was right. Anderson Silva should never fight again.”
Silva went 1-7 in his final eight UFC fights. His last appearance with the company was a fourth-round stoppage loss to Uriah Hall.
But Silva didn’t like hearing White’s comments back then, and he didn’t seem super happy about recalling them now either. So Silva said he would like to see White keep his comments to himself from now on.
“It’s crazy when I see Dana White talk about me because I helped Dana White to put UFC where UFC stays now. But it’s fine. I lived good moments inside UFC. I lived bad moments inside UFC. I lost. I won. But I’m still happy,” Silva said.
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Silva Not Worried About Other People’s Opinions
Silva’s run from 2006 to 2013 as the UFC’s middleweight champion was one of the most dominant championship reigns in UFC history. He won 16 consecutive fights during that period and is still considered by most to be one of the most accomplished MMA fighters ever because of it.
So Silva believes White and anyone else who has a problem with him continuing his legendary fighting career against Chavez Jr. inside a boxing ring on June 19 is way off base.
“Anybody can talk…You cannot take the opinions of others about you because you have your life, I have my life. I know how much I can do something. It’s not Dana White, it’s not anybody [that] can say you need to stop right now…you’re too old for that,” Silva said.
Silva said he thinks he understands at least some of the reasons people share those kinds of thoughts and opinions but that he wasn’t going to let any of that affect him because he’s a “samurai”.
He said, “I respect my knowledge, I respect my body, I respect my mind. When God continues to [give] power to me, I continue to do my best.”
Silva Wants Fans to Remember: ‘I Saved UFC’
Silva believes people should take fewer notes about what White says about him now and more on what Silva actually did during his UFC run.
“When the fans are watching Dana White talk about me, the fans need to check it out, when I saved the UFC,” Silva said.
Indeed, Silva did save the day at least once per Rolling Stone when he drove himself to Las Vegas on short notice to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 in 2016. Silva believes those kinds of moments combined with his being the company’s biggest star for a long time should have earned him more respect from White.
“You know? I can’t talk about that. I’m just so happy. I think Dana is a good guy…a lot of people love Dana, and a lot of people don’t love [him]. I don’t have nothing for talking about Dana, especially because Dana needs to respect the fighters. This is not happening, and everybody is seeing it,” Silva said.
Silva Doubles Down on ‘GSP’ Fight
As an example of that last point, Silva mentioned White denying another all-time great UFC superstar Georges St-Pierre the chance to face Oscar De La Hoya in a crossover boxing match.
Unlike Silva, St-Pierre is still under contract with the company so the UFC had a say in whether “GSP” could fight outside the Octagon.
During his recent media scrum, Silva called that move by White “terrible” and said the same to Heavy without any further prompting.
“Why are you holding Georges St-Pierre from fighting boxing? Georges doesn’t fight MMA anymore. Why are you holding the guy? You can’t hold the guy,” Silva said.
Silva believes White’s decision in that instance adds to the emerging storyline overall that the UFC president doesn’t respect fighters.
“How much was Georges [St-Pierre] working hard to make UFC huge?” Silva asked.
He might as well have been asking the same about himself.
Silva’s final message for White ahead of his upcoming boxing match on June 19 was simple and straightforward.
“I just say, good luck for Dana, good luck for UFC, and leave me alone. Leave me alone, and that’s it,” Silva said.
YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel